Italy will patrol Libyan waters to stop migrants

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

The head of Libya's Tripoli-based government, Faiez Serraj, invited Italy to send warships to join the Libyan coast guard, Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian prime minnister said today.

"A few days ago, Prime Minister Sarraj sent me a letter, requesting technical assistance from the Italian government to jointly fight against human trafficking by means of naval forces".

Gentiloni said that Italy had Germany's backing for its initiatives to stop human trafficking in the Mediterranean.

"The request is being assessed by our defence ministry".

"This request... represents a new and very important step in combating human smuggling from Libya", Gentiloni said, adding that he considered it necessary to reply to the request positively.

"We are fighting against traffickers in conjunction with central and local Libyan authorities".

Part of the problem for Italy is the Dublin Regulation, which stipulates the asylum procedures must be handled by the first country an asylum seeker comes to, not the country where they want to make the request.

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